South Africa’s Unemployment Rate Increases to 23.5%

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Good place for the federal government to fund minimum wage jobs for anyone willing and able to work and turn the nation into a model of prosperity overnight.

South Africa’s Unemployment Rate Increases to 23.5%

by Nasreen Seria and Mike Cohen

May 5 (Bloomberg) — South Africa’s unemployment rate, the highest of 62 countries tracked by Bloomberg, rose in the first quarter as the economy probably entered a recession for the first time in 17 years.

The jobless rate increased to 23.5 percent from 21.9 percent in the previous three months, Statistics South Africa said in a report released in Pretoria today. The number of people out of work rose to 4.18 million from 3.87 million.

“Manufacturing and mining are under strain, and we can expect these numbers to worsen,” said Fanie Joubert, an economist at Efficient Group in Pretoria. “We’re unlikely to see a recovery until the fourth quarter.”

The ruling African National Congress, which won a fourth consecutive five-year mandate in April 22 elections, has pledged to make “decent work opportunities” the focus of its economic policy. The government is aiming to cut the unemployment rate to 14 percent by 2014.


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